A teenager is 'very lucky to be alive' after being shot in the face.

Police were called at about 7.10pm on Wednesday after reports of a group having an argument before a shot was fired in Humphrey Street, Brierfield.

The victim, an 18-year-old man, suffered facial injuries and is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Officers are still on the scene during the day on Thursday and are keen to trace any witnesses.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Whitehead said: “This is an extremely serious incident and the victim is very lucky to have survived the attack.

“We have a team of officers and staff who are investigating the incident in a bid to identify and trace those responsible.

“We appreciate that this incident will understandably have caused some concern in the community and so I would like to reassure people that we have stepped up patrols in the area.

“Please approach an officer if you have any information or concerns.

“Similarly, if you saw or know anything about what happened, please contact us as soon as possible.”

Police believe the shot was fired after a row on the street and may be linked to an incident earlier at the nearby Morrisons Daily store on Colne Road.

Det Supt Neil Drummond said: “We believe that there has been an altercation between a group of people and the victim and following a firearm being discharged, they ran off from the area.”

MP for Pendle, Andrew Stephenson said the incident has caused deep distress and concern for the community, he said: “This is absolutely shocking news for the local community which has caused deep concern and upset.

“Recently we have seen an improvement in serious crime being tackled by the police and therefore this is a shocking incident which has caused deep distress and concern among local residents.”

Pendle Council leader Mohammed Iqbal appealed for people with information to come forward.

He said: “We know there are community concerns following the incident in Brierfield where a young man suffered gunshot injuries.

“Police patrols are being stepped up in the area and we’re urging local people to let the police undertake their investigation so that the perpetrators can be identified, and appropriate action taken.

“Please do talk to a police officer if you have any information which could help.”

You can call police on 101 quoting incident reference 1289 of March 10th.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org